Lately I have been examining my life in general. It isn't that I feel old per se, I don't. It is just the realization that there are certain choices I have made, certain things that I have done or not done, that have dictated the way my life is now. And that most of these things can not be undone. There are things that I will never do or grow up to be. The possibilities are no longer endless.
The path that I have chosen has closed off other paths.
I will never be a firefighter. Not sure why this one popped into my head, but perhaps it has something to do with our recent kitchen fire and the fact that my first instinct was to grab the camera.
I will never be a doctor, or a lawyer, or anything else that requires me going back to school because, well, I am done with school.
I will never have perfect cavity free teeth.
I will never be cellulite, wrinkle, or grey hair free.
I will never backpack around Europe staying in hostels and trying to eat off of only $2 a day, collecting stamps in my passport the way other people collect Precious Moments figurines. Because in my spoiled old age I require the luxury of clean linens and having a bathroom in my room.
I will never fall in love for the first time again.
I will never have that feeling of my entire life stretched out before me with endless possibilities. Just waiting for it all to unfurl before me.
Two things happened recently. I ran across someone who was pregnant with her first child. She had that glow that people talk about, the one that is only visible on *other* women, never on yourself as you look up in the bathroom mirror after spending the entire morning vomiting up your ginger ale and saltines. I stood there talking to her and felt jealous; not jealous because I wanted to be pregnant. Nope, been there, done that, have the stretch marks, thankyouverymuch. No, jealous because she was going to experience it all for the very first time. I was jealous that she got to experience it for the first time. The birth of a mother only happens once.
Then I was talking to my nephew who is finishing up grad school in December. I asked what sort of plans he had. And he replied that he wanted to travel and see as many places in the world as he could possibly see before he settled down in any one place. And I felt jealous. That was the path I had intended to walk on. But somewhere between here and there I got sidetracked. By lovers. By a husband. By children. By life. There will always be time I would say.
But I just discovered that while I am constantly looking forward to the things that will be one day and by looking back at the things that might have been, that I am not paying very much attention to the here and now. Days slip by, lived but with no purpose other than to get through them to get to the next day. And then to get through that one.
I muddle along. Trying to make peace with the life imagined and the one chose, and wondering when they will meet.
And I realize that life is sort of like this post. I start off writing about how funny it is that I set my kitchen on fire and end up writing a maudlin examination of my life.